Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Roundtable discussion: What are children’s ‘best interests’ in international surrogacy?


   Hosted by BASW PROGAR           Registered Charity No. 1013235

Workshop Funded by SRIP

Professor Olga van den Akker (Middlesex University) with Colleagues Dr Marilyn Crawshaw (University of York), Professor Eric Blyth (University of Huddersfield), Andy Elvin (Chief Executive Children & Families across borders) and PROGAR are hosting a SRIP funded invitation only roundtable discussion entitled:

What are children’s ‘best interests’ in international surrogacy?

Friday 10th January 2014

There is growing interest and concern about aspects of international surrogacy. We recently produced a paper (Crawshaw M, Blyth E, & van den Akker O, 2013 The changing profile of surrogacy in the UK – Implications for national and international policy and practice, Journal of Social Welfare and Family Law, DOI:10.1080/09649069.2012.750478) in which we identified some particular issues regarding the lack of systematic data collection across relevant UK agencies and the resulting difficulties for policy development and monitoring. In addition while there is a growing lobby for the ‘right to parent’ through the use of surrogacy arrangements, debates about children’s best interests are more difficult to find.

At this roundtable discussion, we will be bringing together representatives from a range of government departments (Dept of Health, Immigration Service, Office of the Children’s Champion, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Dept for Education, Passport Office, GROs), the HFEA (regulator for assisted conception), relevant professional services and organisations (BASW, Cafcass, CfaB, ISS, NAGALRO), legal representatives, academics and others including consumer groups.  Our aim is to both identify key issues facing those present and, where possible, agree actions to be taken forward, including in the inter-agency, multi-disciplinary context.

The event is being hosted by PROGAR, a coalition of UK child and family welfare organisations and individuals who have worked in the field of surrogacy and donor conception for many years. It is funded by SRIP (Society for Reproductive and Infant Psychology). 

For further information about the discussion please contact Professor Olga van den Akker:

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